Accommodating 850 students, the Usk Campus has a state-of-the-art learning centre, a new higher education hub and a new student café. With a 296-acre working farm, an equine centre and a small animal centre, the College offers a range of vocational qualifications and foundation degrees in subjects such as land-based studies, veterinary nursing, and countryside management. It also includes the UK’s most successful Blue Cross cat rehoming centre.

Coleg Gwent works closely with Monmouthshire County Council as part of the Gwent Adult Learning Partnership, which provides high-quality adult education across Monmouthshire and the rest of Gwent. Funded by the Welsh Government, there are no tuition fees for their further education full-time courses, regardless of age, allowing everyone to study new things and upskill.

On visiting the Usk Campus, Catherine Fookes said, “It was fantastic to visit the Small Animal Centre at Coleg Gwent’s campus in Usk and see their state-of-the-art learning facilities for people in Monmouthshire. It’s brilliant to see the range of vocational options at Coleg Gwent. From farm management to criminology, Coleg Gwent serves anyone interested in learning new skills, ensuring every student has the same educational opportunities and resources regardless of their background or circumstances.”

CEO of Coleg Gwent, Guy Lacey, said, “It was great to meet Catherine and show her the resources we have for learning at Usk. The College provides education and training to thousands of people in the region, and it was good to be able to give Catherine an insight into the work we do for our local people and communities.”

Ms Fookes added, “It was disappointing to hear that the Shared Prosperity Fund, the UK Government’s successor to the European Social Fund, is not allowed to fund apprenticeships, which has disadvantaged Coleg Gwent. It’s clear there is more work to be done by the UK Government to replace all the funding colleges in Wales previously received.”